Tuesday, February 27, 2007

His Parents Must Be So Proud

Asshat was a term coined by our good blogger friend Admiral Pooper Scooper to describe persons capable of any variety of ridiculous, disturbing or offensive behavior. Soon after, Attila the Mom created an award given to the most outrageous Asshat each week. Although I realize I may be violating her intellectual property rights by posting this, after reading this article I couldn’t resist.

So it is with great respect, and apologies, that I submit my nomination for Asshat of the Week.

It was reported today in the (other) local paper that a 16-year-old in Cloquet, MN. found it so amusing when he dumped a pitcher of ice water on a 90-year-old nursing home resident in June that he returned and did it twice more, in December and again last month. And then bragged about it to his buddies at school.

In the story the boy is quoted as saying,

“Me and [another teenager] were like, this is gonna be hilarious, 'cause this lady was talking to herself and she was yelling and stuff so we threw it on her," the 16-year-old boy told police, describing the first incident. “She started screaming and freaking out so we thought this was hilariously funny, and we were all talking about it in school and everyone was laughing about it."

Funny?!? Really?!?

Not to those of us with 90-year-old grandmothers. On any other reasonable human being, for that matter. I can’t even begin to count the different kinds of crap that this kid should have kicked out of him.

Fortunately, due some diligent investigation on the part of the nursing home administrator, the kid was charged last week with felony stalking.

For 10 days after the third incident, (the administrator) drove through school parking lots looking for the license plate, finally finding it at the school in Proctor. "The principal knew right away whose car it was," he said. "I told the police, 'Look, I know who that kid is, who his dad is and where the dad works. Do something, because we've got staff and families who are just waiting, and if those kids come back, somebody's going to jump them.'"

The County Attorney will ask the judge next week to certify the boy as an adult which exempts him from certain protections but is an insult to adults everywhere (except maybe Tom Green).

Now I like to think of myself as a forgiving person but I’m finding it really, really hard to muster and compassion for kid. I spent several years developing a community-based Restorative Justice Program in my community and truly believe in the power of forgiveness but, this one pushes me to the limit. I think of my own grandmother and how she might react. And what I might do as a result. Anything short of an Alabama Ass Whuppin' is too good for this turd.

Ask me tomorrow and I may have calmed down a bit. But not today.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Below is a rerun of last year's Valentine's Day Greeting but since I stand by every word I chose to post it again.


On this Valentine's Day I'd like to list 10 reasons why I love my wife.

10. Kristin is funny!
Whether its the pursed-lips-to-avoid-being-kissed trick, the fake-booger-joke or her appreciation of Spinal Tap and Bizarro, Kristin makes me laugh. I'm particularly grateful that she still plays along with my stupid jokes after all these years.

9. Kristin loves her kids.
Although she originally entertained the thought of parenthood with ambivalence she quickly warmed to the idea about 5 seconds after Emma was born. She is keenly aware of their needs and showers them with affection. She loves them beyond measure and they know it.

8. Kristin is courageous.
Taking her health care into her own hands and traveling halfway across the country to allow a complete stranger to cut her head open takes a bit of courage. I am proud of her for not simply accepting the dismal opinions of local medical professionals and instead taking it upon herself to find the most qualified person possible to diagnose and treat her condition.

7. Kristin is strong.
While she does not feel so lately, her strength is more than just physical. Her spirit over the last two years is the quintessential embodiment of the Serenity Prayer.

6. Kristin loves dirt.
Her passion for gardening is generational and she has done wonderful things to make our small corner of the world more green. Although she may not call it such, gardening is an avocation to which she is truly gifted.

5. Kristin is optimistic.
Even in the face of enormous medical bills and the very real possibility that her symptoms may not improve she continued to believe that everything would work out because everything always works out. From the smallest to the largest, Kristin's glass is always at least half full.

4. Kristin is humble.
Unlike the glory-whore that is me, Kristin is perfectly happy to quietly go about her business, always doing the right thing, always thinking of the needs of others, always going beyond the expected and rarely, if ever, seeking reward or accolade. She may call it shyness but I call it grace.

3. Kristin has wild hairs.
Not on her head, although that is certainly a true as well. Kristin quite often gets what she calls "a wild hair" and will embark on a project that more often than not, involves completely removing, replacing, of renovating some part of our house or yard. Like the proverbial snowball rolling downhill the ideas quickly pick up momentum such that I am usually swept up before I can act as the "voice of reason". Whether it's the striped breezeway, the border garden, the new patio or the kitchen makeover, most, if not all of her wild hairs turn out better than I could have imagined.

2. Kristin is beautiful.
Enough said.

1. Kristin loves me too.
And for that I am the luckiest man alive.